Aircraft Cabin Management

United outlines widebody upgrade programme

United Airlines said it is committed to continuing its unprecedented effort to upgrade the interiors of its existing widebody fleet.

More than 90% of the carrier’s international widebodies now feature the United Polaris business class seat, as well as United Premium Plus seating and upgrades for the remaining aircraft will be completed by the summer of 2023.

Each United Polaris business class seat offers all-aisle access, wool blend seat covers for breathability and a memory foam layer for extra comfort, as well as 16-inch high-definition touch screens and noise-reducing headphones that include free access to more than 1,000 movies, TV shows, audio playlists, podcasts, and games.

All United Premium Plus seats include a six-inch recline, 13-inch seat back screens, and an amenity kit with pillow and blanket at every seat. Economy Plus and economy customers have 10-inch screens at every seat.

The seatback experience throughout the entire 787 aircraft also includes United’s Inflight Entertainment System (IFE) with accessibility features for people with hearing or visual disabilities. And United plans to add Bluetooth connectivity throughout new 787 aircraft so customers have the option of using their own headphones.

United also said it will retrofit 100% of its mainline, narrow-body aircraft with its signature interior – about 100 aircraft are scheduled to be completed in 2023 with the remaining expected to be completed by the end of 2025.

The commitment was made on December 13 when United announced the largest widebody order by a US carrier in commercial aviation history: 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners with options to purchase 100 more. This historic purchase is the next chapter in the ambitious United Next plan and which it hopes will bolster the airline’s leadership role in global travel for years to come.

The US carrier said it expects to take delivery of the new widebody aircraft between 2024 and 2032 and can choose among the 787-8, 9 or 10 models, providing flexibility to support a wide range of routes. United will also exercise options to purchase 44 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for delivery between 2024 and 2026 – consistent with the United Next 2026 capacity plan – and ordered 56 more MAX aircraft for delivery between 2027 and 2028.

The airline now expects to take delivery of about 700 new narrow and widebody aircraft by the end of 2032, including an average of more than two every week in 2023 and more than three every week in 2024.

 

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